The Subclass 408 visa supports the Australian community and the Australian economy by facilitating the mobility of overseas participants in a range of activities including social, cultural and research activities, and international events, while also ensuring that Australians are not displaced from employment opportunities.
Activity types under the Temporary Activity (Subclass 408) visa
There are ten (10) activity types under the Subclass 408 visa as follows.
- Invited Participant in an Event
This activity type provides for unsponsored entry of offshore applicants for up to three months for persons invited to participate in social and cultural activities associated with community-based events. These include, but are not limited to:
- religious, academic, and visual arts events;
- overseas sporting competitors and their entourage participating in sporting events in Australia;
- conferences, conventions and trade fairs, including situations where, for reward from the Australian event organisers, the applicant will be actively contributing to the event (eg. making presentations).
Entry must be supported through a letter of invitation by an Australian organisation.
Entertainment industry activities are managed separately under the Entertainment activity type (see below).
An onshore application may also be made in relation to this activity, however, the application must be sponsored by an eligible temporary activities sponsor.
The Sport activity type enables the entry of:
- sportspersons or adjudicators who are seeking to enter or remain in Australiato participate in sport (play, coach or adjudicate) for an Australian sporting organisation. The sportsperson must be skilled at the Australian national level (or equivalent) and endorsed by the peak sporting body responsible for the sport in Australia or overseas ; and
- elite level sports trainees (including adjudicators), or those on an elite training pathway, who have been invited to engage in a high-level full time sports training program. The sports training organisation delivering the program must not be a sporting club that is primarily engaged in sporting competitions below the national level.
Alternative visa arrangements are available, as follows:
Contracted professional players – alternatives for fully professional sportspersons (including adjudicators) contracted to an Australian sporting club or organisation for competition at the national level, are the Short Stay Specialist (Subclass 400) for short stays, or the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa for longer stays.
- Religious Worker
The Religious Worker activity type provides for the temporary entry of persons who will be full-time religious workers in Australia. Religious work is work of a devotional nature for which the applicant has had relevant religious training. It includes providing spiritual leadership, conducting worship and ministering, pastoral care or proselytising. The religious work must be predominantly non-profit in nature and must directly serve the sponsoring organisation’s religious objectives.
Non-government schools that have a religious ethos are not religious institutions so are unable to sponsor religious workers. However, a religious worker sponsored by a religious organisation associated with the school is able to provide religious services to the school within their broader range of duties agreed with the sponsor.
Alternative visa arrangements may be available, as follows.
Volunteers – persons at the start of a religious life who want to volunteer in a monastery or other religious institution before undertaking formal religious training or tertiary study may be eligible for the Special Program activity type.
Training and study – some persons who want to undertake a formal religious training program, may be eligible for a Training (Subclass 407) visa. Persons undertaking full-time courses registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) may be eligible for a student visa.
Labour agreement – entry of Ministers of Religion under a labour agreement may be suitable if an agreement is in place between the religious organisation and the Commonwealth.
Short stay – persons intending a short stay (less than 3 months) to lecture or speak at religious events, or otherwise deliver religious instruction, can apply under the Invited Participant activity type of this visa.
- Domestic Worker
The Domestic Worker activity type provides for the temporary entry of persons to be employed as domestic workers by:
- certain Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa or Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa holders who are senior executives of overseas organisations; or
- certain holders of International Relations (Subclass 403) visa in the Privileges and Immunities stream .
Australian Government policy does not, in general, allow domestic workers temporary entry to Australia. Such entry is not compatible with the temporary residence objective of encouraging the entry of persons who can make a contribution to Australia by transferring skills to the local workforce, while protecting training and employment opportunities for Australians.
However, the Domestic Worker activity type exists as a concession, recognising the representational and entertainment responsibilities of certain senior executives while working in Australia.
- Superyacht Crew
The principles that underpin the entry of superyacht crew (SYC) include:
- Streamlined and efficient application processing;
- Superyacht crew only undertake work that is consistent with the usual operational requirements of their vessel.
The main objective of the SYC activity type is to provide greater flexibility for the superyacht industry. Streamlined application processing is available to all crew members who do not raise any security, health or serious character concerns.
This activity type is for:
- academics with significant achievement in their field of endeavour who are invited to observe or participate in a research project by an Australian tertiary or research institution; or
- students or recent graduates (within 12 months before application) who wish to undertake a research activity at an Australian tertiary or research institution that is related to their field of study.
- Staff Exchange
The exchange activity type is intended to facilitate the entry of skilled persons under genuine one-for-one exchange arrangements that identify a reciprocal employment placement for Australian residents to work with overseas organisations, promoting international understanding and cooperation. The purpose of the exchange arrangement must be primarily to benefit the exchange staff involved and not to circumvent skilled employment requirements under the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa.
- Special Programs
This activity type is for persons who have been invited by an approved sponsor to participate in:
- School language assistants program (SLAP)
- School to school interchange program (SSIP)
- a youth exchange program based on cultural drivers, for which both the organisation and the program have been approved by the Secretary; or
- a cultural enrichment or community benefit program, where both the organisation and the program have been approved by the Secretary
This activity type is for persons intending to work in the entertainment industry, including:
- performers for recorded and live performances undertaken in Australia; and
- production and support personnel for these activities
Journalists working for overseas media seeking a stay of up to 6 months can apply for a Short Stay Specialist (Subclass 400) visa.
- Australian Government Endorsed Event
Eligibility for the Australian Government Endorsed Events (AGEEs) activity type is based on the Minister listing major Australian events in a legislative instrument. The instrument also includes the classes of persons eligible under this activity type. They must be invited by the event organiser.
This allows the Department to manage most, if not all, visa applications associated with an AGEE through a single visa pathway. The visa criteria are streamlined to take into account that the event and the activities associated with the event have already been assessed and approved by the Department. Visa applicants continue to be subject to genuine temporary entry requirements and other standard Subclass 408 criteria.
If you have any questions about any type of visas please feel free to contact Nevett Ford Lawyers:
Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne
Telephone: +61 3 9614 7111
Visit our website: www.nevettford.com.au